A journey to the land of runners
Running coach Christian Pflügl and his insight into the life of Kenyan runners
What is running training like in Kenya?
What makes Kenyan runners different from other runners?
Long run day - the last day of training
But the Long Run is no picnic
It is motivation and long-distance running training in its purest form. The training has to be hard and has to hurt–“you must feel something”, the Kenyans say.The training goal of the Long Run is between 25 and 45 km at a high pace, which is a little slower than marathon speed. It is easy to imagine that a run like this atan elevation of 2,400 m and in alpine terrain, where there is more uphill than downhill, is not at all easy.
Nevertheless, the Kenyans run unusually quickly right from the beginning, and they finish at a pace of 3 min/km and quicker. The leading group already emerges after the first few kilometres. If one runner happens to not be having a very good day, however, the Kenyans do not let this spoil the mood. The runners’ attitude is always positive, and they declare that a run like this is "no probelm", one of the Kenyans' favourite phrases.
There is one thing the Kenyans do not forget with all this training, however - recovery. The fastest runners in the world focus on sufficient sleep, more relaxed training sessions in between, rest days, mental strength and a healthy diet, and they avoid additional physical activities, and listen to their bodies.